Yves Saint Laurent 2014

Directed by Jalil Lespert World

Comédie Française actor Pierre Niney (It Boy) is sensational in this surprisingly frank ‘authorised’ biopic of the fashion designer who took over from Christian Dior at 21 and eventually established his own enduring brand.

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France In French with English subtitles
105 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
M (drug use, sex scenes)

Director

Producer

Wassim Beji
,
Yannick Bollore

Screenplay

Marie-Pierre Huster
,
Jacques Fieschi
,
Jalil Lespert
,
Based on the book by Laurence Benaïm

Photography

Thomas Hardmeier

Editor

François Gédigier

Production designer

Aline Bonetto

Costume designer

Madeline Fontaine

Music

Ibrahim Maalouf

With

Pierre Niney (Yves Saint Laurent)
,
Guillaume Gallienne (Pierre Bergé)
,
Charlotte Le Bon (Victoire Doutreleau)
,
Laura Smet (Loulou de la Falaise)
,
Marie de Villepin (Betty Catroux)
,
Nikolai Kinski (Karl Lagerfeld)
,
Ruben Alves (Fernando Sanchez)
,
Astrid Whettnall (Yvonne)
,
Marianne Basler (Lucienne Saint Laurent)

Festivals

Berlin, San Francisco 2014

Elsewhere

A man who needs no introduction. And yet... Officially sanctioned by Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s partner in love and business for almost fifty years, this biopic might have focussed on the legendary designer’s glory days alone. These we see, but we also witness this fragile, conflicted genius – Bergé reputedly said that Saint Laurent ‘was born with a nervous breakdown’ – succumb to darker demons and become all the more human for them. He is portrayed – or rather, lived – in a phenomenal performance by Pierre Niney (It Boy). Narrated by Bergé (Guillaume Gallienne, superb), the film spans 20 years, from Saint Laurent’s arrival at Dior, a fashion house he would go on to direct when barely 21 years old, to the founding of his own YSL label; from dazzling inspiration to the debilitating strain of designing four collections a year. (The clothes are Saint Laurent originals.) From domestic splendour to decadent drug-fuelled partying and cruising in the night shadows; from Paris to Morocco, Jalil Lespert’s intimate film is a story of love, passion, creativity, perfectionism, and an artist who, in transforming fashion – and the promotion of it – left his mark on the 20th century. — Sandra Reid